The healing power of Camp Kindle

There is a magical place north-west of Calgary called Camp Kindle. A place where kids escape their physical and mental struggles of cancer, find belonging with each other, and importantly, heal. Kids impacted by this cruel disease are learning that cancer is something lived rather than conquered.

Chloe at Camp Kindle

Cancer and treatments have lasting, and sometimes, lifelong effects on kids’ bodies and minds. They face the risk of multiple issues such as blindness, deafness, heart or kidney problems, growth and mobility challenges, and more. And beyond these, kids also deal with mental and psychosocial issues.

Similar to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), kids can be left with physical wounds from childhood cancer but can also carry psychological wounds that will never go away. And this is where Camp Kindle comes in for them and their families.  

Research conducted by Dr. Catherine Laing at the University of Calgary revealed the vital role that cancer camp plays in the healing and recovery of children and their families. Dr. Laing’s research revealed that cancer camp helps children with cancer and families:

  1. They find acceptance and belonging at a time when forced isolation and harsh medical treatments leave kids with cancer feeling estranged from their peers.
  2. Understand their grief in a new light as something to be lived rather than conquered.
  3. Make sense of their traumatic experiences through storytelling and sharing with others in similar situations.

Medical professionals address the complex physical needs of children with cancer, whereas camp addresses their emotional and psychological needs.

Not only does Camp Kindle provide a place of healing for kids who have cancer, but it also plays a significant role for their whole family. Summer Camp programs are open to siblings, who often struggle with feelings of fear and guilt, abandonment and jealousy as parents shift much-needed attention to their sick child, as well as children whose parents have cancer. Camp Kindle also offers year-round camp opportunities for families who can stay for a weekend to escape from their daily cancer struggles and reconnect as a family.

Camp Kindle means so many things to so many people.

To find out more about Camp Kindle and all the other programs and services Kids Cancer Care provide for children and their families, please visit our website at or contact us at 403-216-9210.